Privacy groups back calls for "Snooper's Charter" rethink

Joint Committee's report into Communications Data Bill calls for "significant" amendments, much to the delight of industry watchers.

Echoing the thoughts of Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, who said the Bill needs to be subjected to a "fundamental rethink", is civil rights campaign group Big Brother Watch.

The organisation's director, Nick Pickles, said the "damning report" should make it impossible for Parliament to support unless the Bill is completely rewritten.

"The committee has exposed weak evidence, misleading statements and fanciful figures and unanimously rejected this draft Bill's proposal to monitor everyone's emails, web visits and social media messages," Pickles told IT Pro.

The lack of detail around scope, safeguards, cost and lack of consultation mean the Draft Bill needs to be looked at again.

"The complexity and sensitivity of the subject required a radically different process and a totally different bill...[and its challenges need to be] solved in a proportionate way that protects privacy, is based on what is technically possible and focuses on maximising the effectiveness of data already held."

The Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) provided evidence to the committee in the run up to the report's publication.

The Association's secretary general, Nicholas Lansman, also backed the report's findings.

"The lack of detail around scope, safeguards, cost and lack of consultation mean the Draft Bill needs to be looked at again to address these fundamental concerns," said Lansman.

"In its current form the lack of detail means the Bill falls short of balancing law enforcement requirements with the impact on business and privacy of users."

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